November 01, 2005

Dirty renewable energy

Simon Jenkins writes in The Guardian about "a wildly extravagant government project." Twenty-six wind turbines will destroy the ancient landscape of Romney Marsh in southeastern England.
The towers are to be massive, 30 storeys high, despite being surrounded by bird sanctuaries. Their footings must be buried 100 feet in the soft subsoil and require six-and-half miles of new road across the marsh, stabilised by 50,000 tonnes of excavated roadstone. Nobody can say how much energy all this will consume. Of the £50m cost, roughly 70% will come in various forms of subsidy.
The program to deploy wind farms across Britain "survives on £1bn of subsidies so that ministers can be seen to be making cosmetic sacrifices in the cause of global warming."
Even on a good day all the turbines in Britain can hardly equal one big nuclear station. [...] As for landscape destruction per megawatt hour, there is no contest. Nuclear wins.
We suffer the same disaster here in Galicia. Wind farms paid by taxpayers have spoiled coastal landscapes and mountain skylines, and ruined several mountain peatlands of biological interest. On top of this, we have to withstand politicians boasting of their "green" energy schemes.

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